Moscow is increasingly concerned about Kyiv’s increased attention not only to the non-Russian republics and regions within the current borders of the Russian Federation but also, and particularly, to parts of the country that have, or at least had, significant ethnic Ukrainian populations (see EDM, July 28, 2022). The last of these regions—and there are perhaps a dozen—are known in Ukrainian parlance as “wedges,” and any mention of them is enough to outrage Russian leaders who have arrogated to themselves the exclusive right to determine borders and identities within the post-Soviet space (see EDM, January 18). Of them, the “green” wedge in the Russian Far East, historically, has attracted the most attention. Yet, the “crimson” one in the Kuban, a region that includes Krasnodar Krai and parts of Stavropol Krai and is situated between Ukraine and the non-Russian republics of the North Caucasus, represents the most immediate explosive case.
The Kuban: A Real ‘Wedge’ Between Russia and Ukraine – Jamestown